Crossroads: Book 1

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Chapter 101

Mike


“Randall!” I shout as he closes in on Elena. “She is innocent here! Leave her out of this, please!”

“Uncle Randall, to you, boy.” He leans down to her ear while stupid fucking Jace is just standing there in the corner like the jackass he is.

“Elena, how about we play a little game,” Randall suggests to her. She frantically shakes her head; tears are still flowing down those red cheeks.

I’m such a bastard. I can’t believe this is all happening. My heart is in the middle of my worst nightmare come to life.

A ring sounds in the room; Randall reaches for his back pocket then takes out his phone. “I’m sorry, don’t mean to be rude. But I need to take this,” he says, walking out the door.

“Jace, you are a fucking asshole. Why? How? You owe me that much.” I knew there was a mole in my club; I never suspected it would be him.

The Vice President of the Devil’s Henchmen takes his time to stroll up to me. “You weren’t supposed to be President.”

“What?”

“I was supposed to lead that club, not you. I had it in the bag until you came along. You stole the patch from me! I’m not as fickle as you think I am. Everything from the start has been calculated. You think I would really deal dirty traced cocaine to this detective?” He points at Elijah, who seems as confused as I am. “Randall and I have been plotting against you from the beginning. We knew the detective would hire you. Paul getting shot - was not a part of it, but everything else was.”

“How?” My mind can’t wrap around all this. I twist my wrist around in the ropes trying to break free. The dry fraying of the ropes is digging into my flesh.

“Marcus is everywhere, idiot. We are everywhere. We have men that have interviewed the detective for the job; they knew his plan. We even have people behind those cameras at the police station. Not to mention a biker bunny or two.” A sickening grin curls on his lips as he leans over me. The organ in my chest drops to my stomach. “Tell me one thing, Mike: the club never saw a penny of that money, and I know you didn’t use it to fix up the clubhouse or those houses... what did you do with it?”

In finishing the process of breaking my thumb, I’m able to pull my hand free from the thick sandpaper feeling of the ropes to clasp it around Jace’s neck. I squeeze. Hard. My thumb is throbbing, but I don’t care. Elena gasps, and I swear Elijah is holding his breath. “I’m gonna fucking kill you,” I seethe through my bloody teeth. Jace is struggling for air. Just then, Jace gouges my eye.

Fuck, that hurts! I release his throat; then, he hits me with his mean left hook. More of the metallic blood pools in my mouth. “You got him?” I hear Randall speak with annoyance as he enters the room.

“Yeah, I got him,” Jace gasps irately as he ties my hand back behind me. Extra tight.

“Well. Sorry for the interruption. Declan is confused as to where Elena might have gone. He’s more like his mother than I’d like him to be. That stupid bitch.” He looks over to me. “Did you know she tried to kill me in my sleep?”

I just stare at him.

“Anywho. He won’t cut it to take over for me. So, this brings me to plan B.” He says while rubbing his hands together, getting ready to divulge a secret.

Or a bomb.

“Michael. I want you to work for me,” he says it like he expects me to accept.

I’ve lost my mind. I laugh—a crazed hysterical laugh. “You’re delusional,” I rip from my throat.

When he removes the pistol from the back of his pants, my laughter stops. He places the barrel right on Elena’s forehead. The same spot where I shot Isaac. She starts to cry again, and her eyes screw shut. Elijah is pleading for mercy on behalf of his daughter.

“Stop! Okay? Just stop! I’ll do it!” I have no choice. “Just spare her life, please.” I beg. Only Randall can make a grown-ass man beg.

He lifts the gun from her face and rests it at his side. “That’s more like it.” I glare up at him while my breathing speeds up. What did I just sign up for?

“Now, the first order of business. Your first assignment.” He leans over Elena and wraps his hand around her neck while pressing his face against the side of hers. She flinches from his touch, and I’m beginning to see red. “You choose who dies.” My eyes snap to his.

No.

“You’re at a crossroads, boy.” He stands up and points the gun at her father then back to Elena.

“You can’t make me choose,” I tell him.

“Choose, boy. Or I’ll choose for you.” He points it back to her father.

“Just pick me, Michael,” Elijah prays while Elena sobs. She opens her eyes, and they land on mine. She is silently begging that I make this stop.

“Michael.” Elijah sounds deflated. He knows I won’t pick his daughter.

Sacrifice. Elijah told me once that I don’t know what love is without sacrificing something for the one I love. I look back at Elena’s eyes while Randall is playing Eeny-Meeny-Mino-Mo with their lives. Those frightened blue-grey doe-like eyes that have captured me from the beginning have my throat constricting and my chest tight. The way they are glossed over with sorrow and pain breaks me. She can’t move on from this without her father. I’m the one that needs to go.

“Me,” I finally say. Randall stops his game to look me dead in the eyes. “Shoot me, kill me. Do it!”

Elena’s eyes widen. “No,” she breathes.

“That isn’t your assignment, Michael,” Randall grits.

“You told me to choose who dies. I choose me. Kill me! Let them go!” I yell through my clenched jaw.

“Michael, I’ve lived my life. Just tell him to take me. I’m ready,” Elijah tells me.

“No, dad!” Elena cries.

In the heated argument of who should leave this world and with Elena’s sorrows filling the space between us all, there is one sound that explodes in the room.

A deafening sound.

It takes a moment to realize what had just happened. Elena is sobbing and calling out for her dad. She’s broken. My heart is broken.

It was the sound of gunfire. The sound of a road chosen for me.

************
Thank you, thank you to all my readers for reading this book! Your votes and comments mean so much to me while on this crossroads journey.
This is the end of Book 1: Crossroads. Stay tuned for Book 2: Road Chosen, coming soon...

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